Day 20 – Make it Flash by Julie Duffy

A moment of clarity, from Julie Duffy

writing prompt cover

The Prompt

Write a Flash Fiction story in 500 words, inspired by a vivid, or transformative, or reflective moment (like the one in the photo).


  • Have as vivid a moment as you can in mind as you start your story.
  • If you use this picture, brainstorm what happened in the moments before the the shutter clicked. Where are they going? Where have they been? What’s causing that facial expression? Is it sincere? Who’s taking the picture?
  • What happens the moment after the photo? Who cares about that? (Whose story is this?)
  • Whose voice will you tell it in? The photographer, writing it up later for the notes for his exhibition? The subject (first person, present tense? Told from the future). Some omniscient narrator? Will they be trustworthy or untrustworthy?
  • If you’re stuck on how to write a flash fiction story, listen to the episode of the StoryADay podcast with Windy Lynn Harris, where she shares 7 ways to approach flash.
  • If you’re not sure what makes a short story flash, check out these StoryADay Flash Fiction Essentials

If you share you story somewhere (and here’s why you might not want to) post a link here so we can come and read it.

Leave a comment to let us know what you wrote about today, and how it went!

Julie Duffy

Julie Duffy has always been verbose (something she often got in trouble for at school) which might explain why she is such a fan of the puzzle that is short fiction.

Join the discussion: what will you do with today’s prompt OR how did it go? Need support? Post here!


Here’s your next Game Piece. save the image and share on social media with #storyaday

Prefer paper crafts? Here’s the cut & paste version

16 thoughts on “Day 20 – Make it Flash by Julie Duffy”

  1. This forced me to flex some editing chops!!! My focal point was a “life changing” selfie taken in a garden setting. I’m covering a great deal of ground today and, with catch up, peeked ahead for a few challenges and ended up with several ideas for Day 20 and 21. I blended a couple of ideas for today’s Challenge.

    It was such a fun write that I had to edit 1351 words down to 500 to fit the parameters. All in all, it was a very satisfying experience.

  2. I got my writing done this morning, though it is somewhat lacking in its “storyness.” I’m so happy to have reached 20 days!

  3. A lot of my stories are turning out to be dialogue-heavy this year, and this was no exception.

    I think it’s because I’m trying to fight the urge to make everything internal.

    Whatever…it’s working.

  4. (I didn’t know when I began this story it would turn out to be Y/A)!

    I wrote a 500-word story about an out-of-shape teenager climbing a mountain who meets a boy on the climb who encourages her to push herself to hike further with him. When she does, she finds out she’s able to keep going even when that’s hard to do.

  5. Memoir today rather than fiction, and more micro than flash, but it’s done so I’ll put it in the win column =)

  6. I wrote 491 words using characters from my novel but gave it a completely different outcome.

  7. Managed to pare my sci-fi story about an earth atmospheric cleaning crew down to 500 words after initially getting it to 598! Had to kill a few darlings in there because I liked the POV character’s little observations and commentary in the narration, but he’s a bit chatty, so some of it was superfluous.

  8. I had a false start, but my second attempt garnered a 433 word story about a young woman being burned at the stake who saves herself with magic. But she was actually looking for mercy. A little dark, but I think it will be a keeper. Happy writing, y’all!

  9. One of the fun things about this process is the unexpected stories that a prompt can provoke. I wrote a story, between four and five hundred words, about a woman’s first experience of the “Light within” in a Quaker Meeting for Worship. No, I am not a Quaker, but it sure sounded as if whoever wrote this piece was.

    I don’t even eat Quaker Oats.

  10. Wasn’t sure what I was going to do with this at first, then it just kind of rolled out. Ended up with exactly 500 words(after a tiny bit of reworking). Wrote from the pov of the antagonist from my selkies story. And him coming to a realization. The last lines from the story(the first line is in italics, he’s remembering what someone else said to him):
    *”You never truly loved me, you only wanted to control me.”*
    Adam sank onto a rock and stared out at the horizon. Oh God. He really was the bad guy here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

The StoryADay

I, WRITER Course


A 6-part journey through the short story.

Starts July 28, 2023